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Colonel Bob Trail - Colonel Bob Peak

Start at 200 feet above sea level and climb to a lofty, scenic peak of 4492 feet on a long, switchbacking trail through stunning old growth forest.

At least that's what it was like in 2006, the last time you could safely and enjoyably hike the Colonel Bob Trail. In 2007, a huge storm blew at least three dozen enormous trees over 1.5 miles of trail, rendering it impassable. Since, then only a few hardy souls have made it to Colonel Bob Peak on the Colonel Bob trail, which leaves from Lake Quinault. Instead, they have turned to the Petes Creek trail.

Soon that will all change. In 2011, WTA partnered with the Olympic National Forest to restore the trail. During the summer, volunteers are spending nearly 20 days on the trail hand-sawing out the blowdown and repairing the existing tread. The Forest Service will finish the job by removing the larges trees later in the year.

If all goes well, this trail will be ready for travelers during the fall of 2011 or in 2012.
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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 16 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Colonel Bob Trail - Colonel Bob Peak — Oct 20, 2013 — Eric Jain
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns
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Started from the Lake Quinault side at 10am; just two other cars in the parking lot. The trail wa...
Started from the Lake Quinault side at 10am; just two other cars in the parking lot.

The trail was dry and in decent condition, though rough in places, and there were several blowdowns, one or two of which were not trivial to bypass.

Not a lot of water on the trail, other than a few trickling streams lower down and some stagnant ponds in the area below the summit.

Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/eric.jain/ColonelBobOctober2013
Panorama: http://photosynth.net/view.[…]a01f-43f2-a91f-26fd8cf9761c
Tracklog: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/393502501
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Colonel Bob Trail - Colonel Bob Peak — Aug 22, 2013 — skp999
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming | Ripe berries
Issues: Bugs
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It's actually 15 miles if you're wanting to start in Quinault and get to the peak. Unless you're exp...
It's actually 15 miles if you're wanting to start in Quinault and get to the peak. Unless you're experienced or start earlier than 9 am, I suggest camping at the flat. Most of it's uphill, and there's a lot of switch-backs. The view is worth it. There's a cabin midway, tons of berry bushes, and three streams along the way to fill up at.
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Colonel Bob Trail - Colonel Bob Peak — Jun 06, 2013 — Scott
Multi-night backpack
Issues: Blowdowns | Overgrown | Washouts
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Colonel Bob BCRT June 6th-9th. Wonderful weather and volunteers made for a great 4 day BCRT on th...
Colonel Bob BCRT June 6th-9th.

Wonderful weather and volunteers made for a great 4 day BCRT on the Colonel Bob trail. This is the 3rd year in a row that WTA has worked on this trail and the results are starting to show. Once on the endangered list, Colonel Bob has made a dramatic comeback thanks to the hard work of WTA volunteers. Much work is still needed but with each passing year the trail is getting easier to hike. The blowdown area is still a little tricky to navigate in some spots but quite doable and a lot better than previous years. Hikers should get out and experience this once endangered trail.
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Colonel Bob Trail - Colonel Bob Peak — May 29, 2013 — Rawclam
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Overgrown
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December 3 of 07 I was the mailman for the town of Quinault Wa. and surrounding area. That day,...
    December 3 of 07 I was the mailman for the town of Quinault Wa. and surrounding area. That day, the day of "the storm" the mail did not get delivered. Trees that once lined the hills behind the little town were strewn around like someone played a giant game of pick up sticks. High up on the ridges above Lake Quinault you can still see the scouring from the wind that whipped around and sent ancient giants to the forest floor, I have been told by the people that live here the sound was like hearing dynamite blasting when they snapped. That was 6 years ago.
     Today we took a trip up the Col. Bob trail, first time we had trekked up this side having been up the Pete's creek trail last year. Due to a late start we only went up 3 miles, it was a on again off again showery day the trail is a pretty good uphill at least for most of the first 2 miles. After the 2 mile mark the devastation and hence repair work start to show. Big trees that were uprooted, snapped, twisted and toppled have been cut out or trails around root balls and pits have been made, Trail crews have been doing a hard fought and stellar job of fixing the old Colonel. The last of our 3 miles was like over the log and around the hole, very little mud for as much rain as we have had. Today was a rainy, breezy day up here, I could still hear the whispers of that storm. Kudos to the crews working here!
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Colonel Bob Trail - Colonel Bob Peak — Feb 10, 2013 — Joe Hendricks
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Clogged drainage | Washouts | Water on trail | Snow on trail
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Here's a video of the hike: http://youtu.be/WVppjai_wWM Had a great hike, even though I only made ...
Here's a video of the hike: http://youtu.be/WVppjai_wWM
Had a great hike, even though I only made it a little over halfway before the snow got too deep.
The first mile has some spectacular trees as the trail climbs the first ridge via long switchbacks.
The 2nd mile is along the side above Ziegler Creek and the mists below and above put on quite a show. This section is still under construction, requiring a fair amount of up and down, of going around stumps and logs.
The third mile was all snow as the trail met up with Ziegler Creek. Microspikes worked fine, but eventually I could not find the trail (no survey tape markers) under the snow so stopped to enjoy the creek before heading back.
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Colonel Bob sawing 2.jpg
WTA volunteers saw out one of many trees during a BCRT. Photo by Nutmeg.
WTA worked here!
2011, 2012, 2013
Location
Colonel Bob Trail (#851)
Olympics -- West
Olympic National Forest - Pacific Ranger District
Statistics
Roundtrip 12.0 miles
Elevation Gain 4292 ft
Highest Point 4492 ft
Features
Old growth
Mountain views
Summits
Wildlife
Established campsites
Guidebooks & Maps
Green Trails Lake Quinault #197
Green Trails Grisdale #198

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Red MarkerColonel Bob Trail - Colonel Bob Peak
47.4964246 -123.7945511
  • BCRT 2011
  • BCRT 2013
  • BCRT 2012
(47.4964, -123.7946) Open in new window
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